The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 12, 2012
California prison health care receiver issues lay off notices

Thumbnail image for kelso.jpegCalifornia Correctional Health Care Services has issued lay off warnings to 2,200 of its employees with a goal of axing 829 positions early next year.

The cuts will touch nearly 60 job classifications around the state, from doctors to custodians and impact 38 jobs in Sacramento County. The statewide cuts take effect Mar. 31, 2013.

The state normally issues three lay off warning notices for every position it cuts, and workers in danger of losing their jobs can displace less-senior counterparts in state government, so it's not clear how many staff will actually lose work. Officials don't have an estimate of savings from the reductions.

"Ultimately there is a lot of realigning of staff between facilities and classifications so there is no way to quantify the potential savings associated with the layoffs," Health Care Services spokeswoman Liz Gransee said in an email.

The job cuts set in motion with the layoff notices late last month are the result of prison population attrition brought on by realignment, Gransee said.

Federal court action launched Correctional Health Care Services several years ago to take charge of the state's inadequate prison medical system.

That mission may be winding down. J. Clark Kelso, who heads Correctional Health Care Services as a federally-appointed prison receiver, told the Associated Press in October that control of the prison health system could return to the Department of Corrections next year. State officials have argued that they can provide medical care more efficiently and for less money.

The state is taking over operation of a new prison hospital medical facility opening in Stockton, "however, there is no timeline or date for the end of the receivership," Gransee said. "Over the coming several months, additional tasks and program areas will be delegated back to the state to manage and Receiver oversight will continue."

Click here to view the list of job classes on the Correctional Health Care Services chopping block.

PHOTO: J. Clark Kelso / Sacramento Bee 2009 file

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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